Overtraining Part Two

Frankie was a fanatical exerciser. He exercised with a trainer four times a week for an hour before going to work. On the weekends he went for hours-long bike rides. He decided to give our training program a try, and I put him through a workout. He worked out hard. The last exercise was the chest press and he was spent. During the last couple of reps he made agonizing sounds like the Mel Gibson character in Braveheart – really unnecessary but it got him through to the end. It was a little bit scary.

I suspected that he was over-trained, so for the next few weeks I convinced him to train just once a week, and I put him through moderately intense sessions. Six week later I put him through the workout we did in our initial session. On the last exercise the chest press he completed the exercise without the dramatic Braveheart sounds of cry Freedom.

I showed him the weights he had lifted. The weights were heavier by a considerable amount. I informed him that the weight on the chest press was 20 pounds heavier, and he did the exercise a full 60 seconds longer sans Braveheart sounds. He was surprised; I was even surprised. It dawned on me that he was profoundly over-trained when he started. He had cut his training time by 87.5% and showed considerable improvement

He left and a little while later his buddy Dick Dale came in and asked what I did to Frankie. I said, “Why do you ask?” He told me that Frankie was talking to anyone in the coffee shop who would listen about the workout he had just completed.

Frankie, Annette, and Dick are pseudonyms of course but the events did happen. The astounding progress in the short time had nothing to do with effort but everything to do with adequate rest.

If you are not making consistent real improvement you are prolly not getting adequate rest. You can ruin two workouts if the second workout follows too soon after the first. Most people never get a handle on whether or not they are over-trained because their form is not consistently the same. They are not comparing apples to apples. Another reason is that the workout is constantly changing. Variety is good, but it can hide lack of improvement if there is not two identical workouts to compare.

You don't need to workout that hard. You just need to do a little more than your body is used to handling, and if given enough rest, your body will, as a form of self-protection, will make a positive adaptation. We can help you with the right dosage.

Through trial and error you can eventually find out what works. I spent years figuring it out. At Austin TX Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers our personal trainers have developed a high intensity training program (HIT) with special attention paid to recovery to insure that the improvements are ongoing – our business depends on it. We cannot afford to have clients come in and ruin two workouts in a row by not being adequately recovered.